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Important Notes for Students Receiving Financial Aid

The College of the Holy Cross participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program.  Because the College is now a Direct Lending School, we can no longer process federal student and parent loans through private lenders.

If you’ve been awarded a Stafford Loan..

This loan may be Subsidized, Unsubsidized, or a combination of both.  A Subsidized Stafford Loan is awarded based on financial need.  Financial need is determined by the Office of Financial Aid.  The federal government pays interest that accrues on the Subsidized Stafford Loan while you are in school.  The Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is not based on need.  The interest that accrues on the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, while in school, must either be paid monthly or deferred and capitalized (added to the original loan balance).

Stafford Loan funds are disbursed directly to the tuition account in two disbursements, half to the fall semester and half to the spring semester.   Students receiving a Stafford Loan will be notified via email when the funds have been disbursed to their tuition account. 

Please note:  Federal Loan regulations allow students 14 days from the date of notice that the loan was applied to their account to notify the school if they wish to have the loan canceled.  Students should notify the Office of Financial Aid of their intent to cancel the loan. Students who request their Federal Stafford Loan be canceled will be responsible for any resulting balance on their billing statement.

Please refer to the Office of Financial Aid web site at for directions on completing the Entrance Interview and Promissory Note which must be completed before the loan can be disbursed.

If you've been awarded a Holy Cross Loan..

The Holy Cross Loan is an institutional loan program offering a fixed interest rate to students who demonstrate financial need. The loan is awarded by the Office of Financial Aid and is administered by the Office of the Bursar with a limited amount of funds available each year. This loan was put in place in response to the expiration of the Federal Perkins Loan program. 

Students may be awarded a Holy Cross Loan in an amount not to exceed $6,800.00 over four years - the distribution to be determined by the Office of Financial Aid. The Loan carries a 6% fixed interest rate. Repayment begins three months after separation from the College. 

Students must sign a promissory note every award year that the Holy Cross Loan has been included with their Financial Aid award. The Office of the Bursar notifies students over the summer via their Holy Cross email account with instructions regarding the entrance interview and promissor note. Students are strongly advised to carefully read the materials that are included with the entrance interview and promissory note so that they fully understand the responsibilities attached to this loan product. 

If you will be receiving a Plus Loan..

The Federal Direct Plus Loan is a low-interest loan available to the parents of dependent students who are attending college at least half-time. The interest rate for 2020-2021 is fixed at 5.3% with options to enter immediate repayment (60 days after the full disbursement of the loan) or to defer repayment of interest and principal until after the student graduates or ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. There is a 4.236% origination fee deducted from the proceeds of the loan. Therefore, families should be applying for 4.236% more than what they need for the bill to cover this fee. This fee will change for all loans with a first disbursement date on or after October 1, 2020 to a percentage yet to be determined by the U.S. Department of Education. Loan funds are disbursed directly to the College in two disbursements, half for the fall bill and half for the spring bill. The maximum amount that can be borrowed is the cost of education less any other forms of financial aid.

The following charges are not allowed to be included when calculating how much to borrow on a Plus Loan – parking tickets and parking decals, library fines, lost IDs, summer housing and other miscellaneous charges. These charges will need to be paid out of pocket via cash or check from a checking or savings account.

To apply for the Parent Plus Loan, please do the following:

The Financial Aid Office will automatically receive the status of the PLUS Loan request one to two business days after the application has been submitted, after which the Office will process the loan, if approved.

Please Note:  When entering the loan amount requested, parents have the option to specify an amount or simply borrow the maximum amounts for which they are eligible.  To minimize families’ overall debt burden, the College STRONGLY recommends families only borrow what is needed and use that as the requested amount, as opposed to simply borrowing up to the maximum eligible amount.

Since the Federal Direct Plus Loan will not appear as an anticipated credit on the tuition bill until the Office of Financial Aid has received all of the required paperwork, we strongly recommend that families begin the loan application process early.  Students receiving a Plus Loan will be notified via email when the funds have been disbursed to their tuition account.